Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Thursday, June 03, 2010

Little to suggest that FlaDems will take advantage of RPOFer scandals

    "Ousted Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer was jailed Wednesday on six felony charges of skimming more than $100,000 from the state GOP under a secret contract he rigged with an aide." "Greer arrested on felony charges". See also "Ousted Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer accused of grand theft, money laundering" and "Former GOP chairman Greer arrested on felony charges; politics, not crime, attorney says".

    More: "Greer Goes Down: Ex-GOP Chairman Arrested, Charged", "Florida GOP ex-Chairman Jim Greer leaves jail after being indicted", "Ex-Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer arrested on 6 felony charges".

    "With his personal bank account overdrawn by an average of $10,000 a month for much of last year, prosecutors say, the Republican Party of Florida chairman plotted to get his hands on some of the millions in special-interest cash flooding the party."
    The scheme: set up a "shell company'' called Victory Strategies LLC to secretly divert party fundraising money to himself, according to state prosecutors. He, along with the party's executive director, Delmar W. Johnson III, then made sure no one else knew about it.

    But Johnson struck a deal with prosecutors and told them everything.
    "Ex-Florida GOP chief Jim Greer charged with siphoning cash".

    Adam C. Smith writes that "Crist is the biggest casualty of Greer's remarkable downfall, but he's certainly not alone."
    Other GOP leaders now trashing Greer either actively shielded him from attacks, ignored numerous warnings about his management, or worked to hush the controversy.

    At a time when Republicans across the country are expecting to ride an electoral wave in November, the Florida GOP is consumed with scandal and public corruption investigations on a scale never before seen in the state. The Greer case is just one of several ongoing state and federal investigations under way involving prominent Republican leaders and money-raisers.
    Smith continues
    As soon as former Republican House Speaker Ray Sansom was indicted for allegedly misappropriating taxpayer money, the Florida Democratic Party aggressively worked to cast the scandal as part of a broader pattern of pervasive GOP corruption.

    Subsequent revelations about big spending on GOP credit cards and criminal charges against top fundraisers have largely borne that out. Republicans blasting Greer for allegedly stealing from the party were silent over Sansom allegedly stealing from taxpayers.

    Are the Democrats ascending?

    Strikingly, there is little indication at this early stage that Democratic candidates in Florida are positioned to take advantage.
    "Republicans may feel ripple effect from Greer's arrest".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Crist is about the only one who could be surprised by Wednesday’s arrest of former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer on state charges of grand theft and money laundering. But Greer’s arrest does raise more questions about the actions of top Republicans who tried to quietly make the entire mess go away, and it increases the urgency that an ongoing federal investigation be as broad and as thorough as possible." "New questions for top Republicans".

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer is in big trouble, and if the allegations against him can be proven, he deserves prison time. ... Greer, handpicked by Charlie Crist to lead the party, lived the good life until he was booted out for incompetence in December. The affidavit - while no conviction - describes a thief who compromised the GOP." "Cuffing Greer".


    "The BP oil slick drifted perilously close to the Florida Panhandle's famous sugar-white beaches Wednesday as a risky gambit to contain the leak by shearing off the well pipe ran into trouble a mile under the sea when the diamond-tipped saw became stuck." "BP faces another setback; oil slick threatens Fla.".

    See also "Gulf spill workers complaining of flulike symptoms", "After 12 hours, BP frees saw stuck in oil gusher", "Oil would kill mangroves, corals", "New oil spill ad campaign in works", "BP oil spill leads to Florida fishery disaster declaration", "Spill could kill in large numbers: South Florida's vulnerable ecosystem could be devastated", "'Coast is clear' in South Florida as oil spill threatens Panhandle", "Tempers heat up near Florida border as oil washes up on Alabama shore", "Crist asks feds to declare state fishing industry a disaster", "Oil slick poses challenge to tourism industry", "Gov. Charlie Crist on oil spill: 'We need to protect state'" and "Oil spill criminal case difficult against execs".

    The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Florida’s luck may be running out, and it needs to prepare for the worst. Oil from BP’s runaway spill is just a few miles from the Panhandle." "As oil nears, prepare for worst".

    Paranoid much?

    The Sun Sentinel editors think "Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum should have been invited to a regional meeting called by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The invitees included attorneys general and U.S. attorneys from Gulf states."

    "So why did we get left out? The Justice Department said the decision was guided by a desire to meet with the states most directly impacted by the spill right now. If so, that's poor judgment. But it'd be even worse if, say, the decision were politically motivated — payback of some sort for McCollum's legal challenge to the Obama administration's health care reform legislation." "Holder wrong to leave Florida officials out of meeting".

    Bud Chiles to Jump

    "The namesake son of Gov. Lawton Chiles is expected to announce his candidacy for governor today on an outsider platform of "taking a broom to the system" of big money in Florida politics." "Chiles' son may announce candidacy".

    A Hillsborough thing

    "State prosecutors confirmed Wednesday they are reviewing a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into possible wrongdoing by [Hillsborough] County Administrator Pat Bean and County Attorney Renee Lee." "State prosecutors reviewing FDLE investigation of Bean".

    The Tampa Tribune editors: "It's time for Pat Bean's farewell".

    Thomas slams Crist veto

    Mike Thomas writes that Governor "Crist has put the finishing touches on his four-year campaign to destroy the property-insurance market in Florida." "Charlie Crist's veto ensures we'll face insurance woes".

    Jeb! laff riot

    "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told New York Republicans on Wednesday that the GOP must become the new party of reform, smaller government, capitalism and patriotism — and become far less grumpy. ... Bush, 57, who lives in the Miami area, runs two foundations and a small consulting firm and delivers paid speeches. Often mentioned as a presidential candidate in 2012, he says he has no interest in returning to elected office." "Jeb Bush preaches capitalism for GOP revival".

    "Only Republican friends"

    The Hill: "Since he quit his party, Crist says he has discovered that people he thought were friends turned out to be only Republican friends, who dropped Crist after he left the GOP. Crist has lost so many campaign staffers that his sister is now running his third-party effort." "Crist says he's 'lonely' on campaign trail".

    "A high ideal in theory"

    The Orlando Sentinel editors: "Sprinkled throughout the U.S. Constitution is the notion that accused criminals are to be treated fairly and justly."

    A high ideal in theory, but too often dogged by judicial breakdowns in practice. When that happens, the system locks up someone like James Bain. He received a life sentence for the 1974 rape of a 9-year-old Lake Wales boy. Only he didn't do the crime. After serving 35 years, Mr. Bain finally tasted freedom in December after DNA testing exonerated him.

    Tragically, Mr. Bain's plight isn't uncommon in Florida.
    "Florida innocence commission".

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